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Community aims to boot dealers


“The community identified more than seven drug houses that were operating in the area”

COMMUNITY members in Longlands, who conducted a citizen’s arrest of three suspected drug dealers, have given drug pedlars an ultimatum to vacate the area before the end of the week, or face being forcefully removed from the area.

A community member from Longlands, Matthew Martin, said that the suspects were found in possession of 40 full mandrax tablets on Monday.

“The community identified more than seven drug houses that were operating in the area,” said Martin.

“Two of the suspects who were arrested, were previously arrested by the narcotics police on November 15 after they were found in possession of cash and drugs. This follows the murder of a couple in Longlands a few days ago. They were released on bail of R1 600 and R4 500 on Monday, only to be caught again on the same day by the community.”

He added that the suspects were operating in a group of about eight drug dealers who were from KwaZulu-Natal and were renting accommodation in Longlands.

“We caught them in the second street when we were moving from house to house. They tried to run away but we managed to catch them. The community sent out a clear message that they don’t want to see these dealers here anymore.”

Martin stated that they waited for about an hour before the police arrived to arrest the suspects.

“We only have one police vehicle servicing Delportshoop and outlying areas. The police first had to attend to an accident scene before they arrived. The police station is extremely under-resourced.”

Spokesperson for the Department of Transport, Safety and Liaison Rennie Andrias directed media enquiries to the police.

“We don’t deal directly with police operational matters,” said Andrias.

Police spokesperson Captain Sergio Kock confirmed that three men were arrested with the assistance of the community.

“They were allegedly found in possession of mandrax tablets and the police charged them accordingly. The suspects should be appearing in the Barkly West Magistrate’s Court soon,” said Kock.

“The SAPS appreciates the involvement of the community in the fight against crime.”

He added that all concerns raised by the community would be addressed by the SAPS management.

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